Monday, October 16, 2017

Indonesian Coast Guard

Just got back from a visit to an Indonesian Coast Guard patrol boat. Very beautiful. Immaculate. Great fun with lots of selfies with crew. Biggest difference - the decks are all carpeted so everyone is barefoot.

Fair winds and following seas :)

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Local Help

This morning we were on shore when a strong thunderstorm came through the anchorage. We were concerned about our boats dragging. The very heavy rain obscured our vision and the rough surf suggested it was not a good time to hop into the dinghy to check.

After several hours the skies finally cleared. We headed out to check on the boats. One was missing having dragged. Where was she? Nuzzled up against and tied to one of the large fishing boats. Apparently some of the locals had rescued her and secured her until the owners could come.

These kinds of selfless acts help restore faith in the kindness of people.

Fair winds and following seas :)

Wednesday, October 11, 2017


Made it to TJ. Right near the equator. Getting daily heavy rain. Annoying.

Fair winds and following seas :)

Friday, October 6, 2017

At anchor Tanjung-Pinang

All safe. Horrible harbor. Shallow approach. Waked by a fast ferry. Harbor full of floating garbage. Lots of boat traffic. Not reassuring.

This is the place we are scheduled to check out of Indonesia. I think they could have picked a better place.

Fair winds and following seas :)

Crossing the line!

Reboot at

00 00.000 N/S
105 00.000 e

Appropriate activities and honors made to King Neptune and God Poseidon. (Not my first, already a shellback.)

Its fall!

Fair winds and following seas :)

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Light Air Sailing

00 25.772 S
105 19.118 E

Most sailors prefer the westbound route around the world. Dubbed the "coconut route" it has much to offer. The prevailing winds are from the Southeast as are the waves. This gives a rocking chair ride. It also requires little in the way of constant sail trim. The downside is that since you are running away from the wind it takes a stronger wind to achieve the same boat speed.

This is what I expected on my current trip. But I am very near the equator (about 25 miles) so well north of the easterly trades. What I am instead experiencing is light northeast winds. The good news is that I am going upwind. Reboot 's speed generates apparent wind so the wind seems stronger than it actually is. The downside is I have to constantly trim to keep Reboot in the "slot." So far I have been able to maintain an average speed of 3.8 knots in about 6 knots of wind. That is great. About 100 nautical miles to go including "crossing the line." As a "Shellback" not quite the same but a memorable experience none the less.

Fair winds and following seas :)

Underway to T-J

S 01 41.651
E 106 06.878

With virtually zero wind i am motoring at 1800 rpm. This is a problem as Reboot can not motor 202 nautical miles on the available fuel. On the other hand this trip will take 48 to 72 hours. The odds are the wind conditions will change during that time.

The beginning of any trip is frustrating. One knows how long at various speeds (3 knots, 4 knots, 5 knots) the trip will take. And about how many hours one can motor (for Reboot with my current deck fuel about 150 nautical miles.) But experience proves this can all change. So one is conservative. To use fuel at the beginning of a trip is troubling since there is no way to resupply.

Geography has a major impact. The winds and waves near land are influenced by the land. This can be beneficial. Or, as frequently happens after hours of light wind the wind rises near the anchorage as you are trying to get the anchor down. In order to get away from the island I am motoring until I get enough wind to sail. Hopefully soon.

Fair winds and following seas:)

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Tanjung Pinang

Departing. 1 POB + 1 Cat. 202 nautical miles. ETA 2 to 3 days depending on wind.


At anchor. All safe. Miserable trip. Light winds. Heavy rain. Limited visibility. Many fish aggregation devices as hazards. almost invisible on radar. Hazards invisible on radar during rainstorms. Arrived in rain. Anchored. Reboot rolling 20 to 30 degrees as is everyone else.

Departed with wet laundry. Expected to be able to dry in transit. That didn't work out. Entire interior and exterior sopping wet. More rain expected as we are almost on the equator.

Fair winds and following seas. :)

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Belitung, Indonesia

At anchor. Long trip. Averaged 3.7 knots vs normal 5 knots. Beautiful harbor. All OK.

Fair winds and following seas :)

Local knowledge

I am closing in on Beltuing, Indonesia after a frustrating multi-day transit. Reboot does not have the"legs" to motor 500 nautical miles so I sail what I get. Which has been a lot of 2.5 to 3.0 knot speeds. That adds extra days to the trip.

On this approach to the island one has to navigate through some off shore reefs. Now we know the charts are not good so I picked a wide route and plotted it. As I approached I noticed a tug in front of me on the AIS. He was heading in the same general direction but picked another route. So now I am following his breadcrumbs.

Fair winds and following seas :)

Thursday, September 28, 2017

And God said...

"Let there be light."

Dawn is always a special time.

Fair winds and following seas :)

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

In transit


05 42 E
112 39 S

Starting the next long transit of the Wonderful Sail 2 Indonesia rally. Technically we should have left Bali for Borneo but Chandara and I decided to skip Borneo and head direct for Beltuing. This reduced the number of long transits by one. It is also giving us an opportunity to get back on schedule. We only get 90 days in Indonesia and we have been repeatedly advised not to overstay. We are already behind so we need to catch up. Not to mention that getting away from the volcano Agung was a good strategy!

There have been two long transits already. From Thursday Island in Australia to Debut, Indonesia. And from South Buru to Maumere. This is the third - from Bali to Beltuing. Technically over 540 nautical miles. Chandara and Reboot stopped after about 200 nm in Bawean for crew rest. XO and I needed it. I slept 18 hours. We ran into Jaga II and Althea who are a day ahead of us.

Unfortunately we will arrive in Beltuing when we are supposed to be leaving. But the next few hops are shorter so we can make up some time. The organizers didn't plan the transit times well.

We have about 340 nautical miles to go. Give or take three days and nights. And no, even the nights are NOT better. The water all the way is shallow - usually about 200 feet. This means the bane of all Indonesian sailors: fishermen and fish aggregation devices (FOD's.) They are super nice people but it requires a good lookout to stay out of their way. It adds a lot of stress.

So off we go. Not much to do. No Internet. Reboot pretty much sails itself. This is of course good and bad. The bad is if I fall asleep we just keep going no matter what. I will read and play cards and nap all I can.

Fair winds and following seas :)


Underway to Beltuing, Indonesia. ETA 3 days. 1 POB + 1 Cat.

Fair winds and following seas :)

More on the Indonesian volcano. We are now 300 nautical miles west of it. We met many nice people in our visit to the area. We hope the are all safe.

Fair winds and following seas :)

Sunday, September 24, 2017


Underway to Beltung. 548 nm. 5 to 6 days or more dependent upon wind. 1 POB + 1 Cat

Fair winds and following seas :)

Friday, September 15, 2017


In Indonesian"Hati" means "heart." " Hati-Hati" means "caution" or "danger." In English "Hottie" means .... at least in my experience ...

Fair winds and following seas :)

Lovina, N Bali, Indonesia

At anchor. All safe. Big festival until the 19th. Should be fun!

Fair winds and following seas :)

Thursday, September 14, 2017


Heading for N. Bali, Lovina, Indonesia. 1 POB + 1 Cat. 46 nm, Eta late afternoon.

Fair winds and following seas :)

Need a survey

Better picture of the multi-function display. See we are not on shore!

Fair winds and following seas :)


In Amed. All safe. Fast trip.

Fair winds and following seas :)

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Monday, September 11, 2017

North Lombok

Last part of trip 25/knots on the bow. Not fun. At anchor. All safe.

Fair winds and following seas :)

Sunday, September 10, 2017

North Lombok, Indonesia

Underway to North Lombok. 1 POB + 1 cat. 41 NM. ETA late afternoon.

Fair winds and following seas :)


I first logged onto what is now the Internet with a 300 baud modem and a green CRT monitor. There was no World Wide Web, no graphics, certainly no "social media" (and its unrelenting commitment to invade your privacy for its economic gain.)

I am now cruising in the land of 2G. Web pages take 30 seconds to load. Forget video. It is quite the reminder of how far we have come in speed and usability.

Why leapfrogging? As the net got faster the content got more complex. This drove the need for an even faster net. Which facilitated even more complex content.

Fair winds and following seas :)

Gili Lawang

At anchor. All safe. Lots of Wonderful Sail to Indonesia company.

08 17.72 S
116 41.44 E

Quiet. Almost no wind. Hot. Several fishing boats in Selat Sungain.

Fair winds and following seas :)

Saturday, September 9, 2017


To Gili Lawang, Lombok, Indonesia. 1 Pob + 1 cat. ETA ate afternoon today.

Fair winds and following seas :)

Medang Island, Indonesia

At anchor. Rocking and Rolling. After a day of light winds got 20 knots and 4 foot seas on approach. Still blowing. Hope ot will calm down after sunset.

Fair winds and following seas :)

Friday, September 8, 2017

Thursday, September 7, 2017


Departing Wera Bay for Kilo 1 POB. ETA late afternoon.


CAPT Roger J. Jones USN (ret.)

Sailboat Reboot (MMSI 366 958 630)

411 Walnut Street #9700, Green Cove Springs, FL 32043-3443

Reboot's Agent's Email: and phone (201) 925-2581

Reboot Email (in port only)

Reboot Phone: +61 (0) 476 468 335

                       +1 (414) 326-9562

Satellite Phone  (870) 776-4111-46

Web Site:


Reboot position

Ham Radio: W2ZDB via Maritime Mobile Service Net 14.300 Mhz

Ham Radio Email:

 This email is sent from an infrequently monitored mailbox.  It may take several days or weeks before REBOOT and I are in port where I can receive it.  Should you have an immediate need please contact me via Reboot's agent.

Weir Bay

At anchor in Weir Bay, Indonesia. All safe.

Saw pictures of the hurricane hole in Tortilla, BVI. Lots of charter boats wrecked. My thoughts go out to all who have been hurt and wishing luck to those in the path.

Fair winds and following seas :)

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Dinghy Woes

My dinghy just collapsed. All three tubes are not holding air. I guess it had a good run.

So, another $4,000 to $5,000 unplanned expense. Complicated by the fact that it is near impossible to buy a new one in Indonesia. Not to mention the 70% tariff. The good news is that I am still on the Wonderful Sail 2 Indonesia Rally so I can grab rides.

Fair winds and following seas :) My thoughts are with those in the path of the hurricane.


Weir Bay. XO & I. ETA tonight late.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Sunday, August 27, 2017


Destination Ruing, Flores, Indonesia
ETA late afternoon today

Ciendeh Bay, Indonesia

In Ciendeh Bay, Indonesia. Nice overnight stop from Rock and Maurole. With Althea, Chandara and Gambol. Gambol is in need of ATF for transmission. Intend Ruing tomorrow.

Took trip to town in search of ATF. Last bit of harbor is a mud flat with all sorts of obstructions. Fortunately it was high tide - the only time one can make it to shore. After a futile search for ATF returned to boats. Even small tidal change resulted in tide rips across the mud flats.

The town was small with a couple of shops. We visited both car (motor scooter) shops with no luck. We tried to buy a dozen eggs for Daisy U. Johnson but were only able to find six. The town has mostly dirt roads. Quite a bit of new construction was in evidence. The most remarkable thing was that every structure was fenced. The people were friendly without being aggressive.

Summary: Good overnight stop, not much point in going ashore.

Fair winds and following seas :)

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Too Close?

Don't worry that I dropped my anchor right next to you, We all know that all boats in an anchorage swing the same way. NOT!

Fair winds and following seas ;)

Deep cleaning

This young man came out and helped clean the interior of Reboot. He also made a friend.
Fair winds and following seas :)

Winch Repair / Lubrication

Taking it apart. Replacing the broken ring. Then back together.


Indonesia was formed by volcanoes. We (Steve, Daisy and I) visited the famous three lakes - volcanic cones filled with water. I joked "if it starts boiling we had better run. Imagine my surprise when Steve called me on the radio to go look at the lava flow coming down the mountain into our anchorage area! I tried to rake a picture but night from a pitching deck gave me a big smear. And yes, thank you for asking, I do feel safe.

Fair winds and following seas :)

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Friday, August 18, 2017

Vendor induced chaos

My frustration grows. In the beginning I had control of my stuff.
Granted the screens were green, there were no graphics, and a fast
modem (Hayes SmartModem) operated at 1200 baud. But I least I knew
where my stuff was. And vendors weren't downloading useless crap in
the background. And monitoring my every move. And installing useless
apps that both monitored my every move and downloaded even more
useless crap. Of course they also make it impossible to delete their
useless crap without a PhD in Computer Science. Not to mention
uploading my stuff without my permission to who knows where. (Only a
fool thinks the "cloud" is safe.)

Now that is bad enough. But it is not the focus of today's rant. (It
did get some airtime however.) I rant today about vendor induced
chaos. By this I mean the system where each vendor links their
equipment to only their apps. I take a picture on my Amazon Fire. Can
I upload it to my Google Drive. No. I have to upload it to the Amazon
Drive (which I neither need nor want.) I download a free book to read
on my Kindle. Does it get added to the library of all the books I have
downloaded from Amazon. Of course not. It gets buried so only with the
help of a third party application can I find it and read it. The list
goes on and on.

Of particular aggravation is the theory that I have unlimited access
to a reasonably quick internet at little or no cost. Not! Rural
Indonesia is not brimming with high speed free WiFi access.
Particularly a couple of hundred miles offshore. Joy of Joys when my
entire Kindle library of books that I have purchased and paid for is
rendered is rendered unreadable since the digital rights management
has expired and needs the internet to be reset. But that is another

I would share some pictures of beautiful Flores Island in Indonesia if
I could figure out which vendor stashed them in which proprietary box.

Fair winds and following seas :)

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Carrying a dinghy

I was asked the other day how I carry the dinghy on Reboot. I replied on the foredeck. Some cruisers choose davits on the stern. I can't. The Monitor™ steering vane is in the way. Even if I could I would not. I have heard and occasionally seen the results of a dinghy ripping the stern off a boat from severe wave action in high seas.

So that leaves the foredeck or a tow. Towing might be reasonable in sheltered waters for short distances. I would never try to tow on a multi-day offshore passage. That leaves the foredeck. Not a great place. It is in the way every time one goes forward, e.g. to anchor, set up the whisker pole, set up or douse the asymmetric spinnaker.

A more critical problem is that it takes a beating in high seas going upwind. That green water across the deck is bouncing off the dinghy. It needs to be very secure. Over time my system has evolved into the setup in the pictures below. The stern of the dinghy is attached by two crossed straps attached to the stern of the dinghy and the deck. The center is held down by a tie down strap. And the bow is held down three ways: the painter and two diagonal lines to either side. These lines help keep the bow from shifting sideways.

This works well with one exception. The lee jib sheet tends to catch under the dinghy. It is thus important to assure a clear run before tacking or gybing.

Fair winds and following seas :)

Excellent Article on Politics in America


Proving it is not easy to get internet and phone service that keeps working in Indonesia.

Fair winds and following seas :)

Saturday, August 12, 2017

What we are doing

Fair winds and following seas :)

View from Reboot

Looking towards shore and the anchorage. The Sea World resort dining room.

Maumere, Flores, Indonesia

S 08 37.951
E 122 18.625

Crazy trip from South Buru to Maumere. Chandara (Daisy and Steve) and I decided to skip the next two stops on the itinerary. The decision was based on a combination of criterion: easy of entering the anchorage, down time in each anchorage, etc. But the deciding factor was the apparent wind angles from North Buton to Wakatobi and from Wakatobi to Maumere. In both cases they indicated very unpleasant uphill slogs. With a puking XO that was the last thing I needed.

I left South Buru in a huff. The anchorage was terrible. Reboot spent most of every day and night rolling. XO spent the same time crying and puking. What was supposed to be a pleasant three to four day beam reach to Maumere turned out to be anything but. The first 24 hours was beautiful. Beam reach, moderate winds, making 6.5 to 7 knots. Then it all went to puppy poo. The winds got light. Combined with what little boat speed Reboot could generate we were looking at an apparent wind angle of 30°. Speed ranged from 1.5 to 5.5 knots. The vane could not steer so over to the electric autopilot. Finally the wind died completely. On came the iron genny. As I motored through dead calm seas Chandara reported 25 knot winds and 2 meter waves on the bow. I thought they were kidding. As I made my final turn into the bay at Maumere I discovered they were not. The last 15 nautical miles were directly into a strong shore breeze. What a crummy ending. I arrived, of course, after dark. Chandara talked me in. This morning I discovered that the rest of the boats in the anchorage were all listening and watching. Finally anchor down.

This morning I looked at my fuel gauge. The internal tank is almost out of fuel. Dodged that bullet. Joana (Wade), Chandara (Steve and Daisy) and I shared a car to town. That is the subject of my next post. I came back to Reboot and cleaned the starboard quarter waterline and then dove on Chandara. The water is beautiful. We will be here for several days so I will do a quarter a day and then dive on the bottom. Off tonight for a nice dinner.

Fair winds and following seas :)

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Weather Helm

Weather, Lee, and Neutral helm describe what one has to do to keep a sailboat going in a straight line. Weather helm means the boat wants to turn into the wind. Lee means it wants to turn away from the wind.

Normally one wants a bit of weather helm. If the wind increases suddenly the boat will head up and stall. It is "in irons" or the more current and pathetic term in the "no go zone." There are two inherent problems which require reducing sail as quickly as possible :

1. Once the boat is in irons there is no forward motion. It becomes at the mercy of the unmerciful waves. And it falls back off only to be overpowered and head up again. And again. This is not good.

2. When running downwind the impact of the boat heading up is that the apparent wind (the wind the boat sees, the vector sum of the boat speed and direction and the wind speed and direction) actually gets stronger. Not good. Since the easiest way to deal with a strong wind is to run away this adds complexity. Usually the autopilot can not compensate if the sail plan is that out of balance. Hence the advice: "reef early, reef often."

Fair winds and following seas :)

Sailing Naked

I am sure this brought forth lewd and lascivious thoughts. Is my blog now appealing to the prurient interest?

Lots of things happen before, during and after a rainstorm. Dramatic changes in wind velocity and direction are common. This means one is going to be out in the cockpit and get wet. Perhaps several trips. (There is no point in standing in the rain once the boat is re-trimmed. Unless it is the only vantage point to look for other boats.) Another characteristic is that things happen quickly. I always marveled at my volunteer crew who thought it was OK to take 5 minutes to dress in their foul weather gear as Reboot was going crazy. 

In the old days I would just jump into the cockpit and do what needed to be done. This usually resulted in a large pile of wet clothing that needed to be dried when the sun came out. Sometimes that was a couple of days.. Now I just strip bare and get a free shower out of the deal. (It is useful to remember I sail solo.) This works because I am in the tropics. I would not recommend it on a passage from Newfoundland via Iceland and Greenland to Scotland.

Fair winds and following seas :)


Underway to Maumere, Indonesia

Collision Avoidance

Usually being a sailboat in the open ocean is pretty good. Under the COLREGS sailboats have the right of way over everyone except, in order of priority, vessels "not in command"*,) vessels "restricted in their ability to maneuver," and vessels "actively engaged in commercial fishing"**.) In channels "restricted in their ability to maneuver" is pretty common. The big ships stay in the channels, we flirt around the edges. But in the open ocean it is very rare. I just spent the last five hours dealing with a vessel (actually several) restricted in their ability to maneuver. Specifically two ocean going tugs pulling an oil rig. A very big oil rig! This was made more complicated by the presence of several other vessels. With AIS it is somewhat possible to predict the closest point of approach. I say somewhat because wind variations can change the CPA. There is nothing quite like expecting to pass across the bow of a big ship and having the wind die! Would I pass in front? Should I alter course and pass behind? In the final moments (CPA 2 nm) it was clear it was going to be close. So I did a 180 to pass behind. But a 180 was not possible without going into irons. As it turns out, doing a 160 was good enough.

Fair winds and following seas :)

* "Red over red the Captain is dead." A ship that can not maneuver. Usually because they have lost their engines.

** No, Joe SixPack doesn't qualify. Nor does a commercial fishing boat going to or from the fishing grounds.

081800ZAUG2017 Underway from South Buru, Indonesia to Maumere, Indonesia.

Monday, August 7, 2017


videoA little video to demonstrate the roll that leads to sail "snap" in light air. And yes, in tbis video Reboot is pointed upwind.

Fair winds and following seas :)

Hard day

Spent the morning working on boat projects.. Went in at noon to a terrible lunch. Spent the afternoon drinking Bintank - the
Iocal beer. Scored a T-shirt for the cost of a case of beer. If I ever get back to the USA chances are I will have a unique piece of flair. Then scored a ball cap. Its good.

Back on Reboot. Tide change so we are rolling. Or I am rolling from the beer. Not sure. Probably both.

Fair winds and following seas :)

Sunday, August 6, 2017

AIS & Internet Position Reports

A relatively recent addition to maritime electronics are Automatic Identification Systems (AIS.) These are ship mounted transponders that both broadcast the ships location, COG and SOG and report the same data from ships in the vicinity. Since they operate on the marine VHF bands their reach is about 25 nautical miles for big ships, 10 to 15 nautical miles for pleasure craft.* They are a real plus for sailboats as we are almost invisible on radar. Under the COLREGS sailboats have almost unlimited privilege. The powered vessels have to stay out of our way. In the old days ships frequently had to be in visual range to see a sailboat. This resulted in lots of close calls. Now they know we are here way out. It is fun to watch them tweek their heading a degree or two to give us a one nautical mile closest point of approach. One nautical mile seems to be the courtesy distance. They are a real safety boost.

But, as usual, I digress.

An unanticipated benefit of AIS is that it can be a passive way for friends and family to keep track of your location. Several companies have taken the strategy introduced (I think) by Wunderground for weather. They are seeding the world with shore mounted AIS receivers attached to the Internet as Wunderground did with weather receivers. Sail into the vicinity of one of these receivers and the boat's location is reported. Very nice.

The problems unfortunately are two. There are no receivers in the open ocean**. If you sail like I do you can disappear for days. And if you visit fun places like South Buru, Indonesia there are no AIS receivers either. Fortunately there is a way to overcome this limitation - at least with the provider Marine Traffic ( you can email position reports keeping your friends, enemies, and creditors up to date.

I am participating in the Wonderful Sail 2 Indonesia rally. There are about sixty boats. On a whim I upgraded in Marine Traffic so I could keep track of all sixty. (I think 5 are free.) The results were enlightening. Of all the boats in the rally only Reboot shows in South Buru. The other twenty I can see visually and on my multifunction display are somewhere else. Reboot is only here because I filed an email position report as there is no AIS receiver here. The rest are spread out from Horn/Thursday Island Australia to wherever they happened to pass a receiver (e.g. Some but not all the boats triggered the receiver in the Banda Island group.) So perhaps not so useful for keeping friends informed unless you fill in the reception blanks.*** But fun none the less.

Fair winds and following seas :)

* Due to power and antenna height differences.

** AIS reception by satellite works with limitations. To my knowledge no one provides AIS satellite tracking on the Internet for free. Also, I think some cruise ships echo the received data from their AIS to the Internet. Reboot's position has popped up from time to time when passed by a cruise ship in the Caribbean.

*** If you sail in highly populated areas like the United States you will get an almost continuous track.

Posted at anchor, South Buru Indonesia

Passage: Banda to South Buru

Just finished the passage from the Banda Islands to South Buru, Indonesia. It was a two day downwind trip in light air that left me both annoyed and frustrated. A few observations:

1. Even gentle seas (less than three feet) with waves abaft the beam can set up a rolling motion that "snaps" the sails. The motion creates a wind that collapses the sail on each roll. This results in a "snap" as the sail fills on the reverse roll. Not only does this beat up the sail but it slows the boat down. The closer to dead down the worse the effect.
2. Solo sailing places constraints that can be very frustrating. When "Harmonic" blew past me with their asymmetric spinnaker I rued my lack of crew. I have a beautiful asymmetric in a sail bag on my bunk. It is difficult but not impossible to rig with two, easy with three, suicidal solo!
3. Some sail configurations are more stable than others. Going "dead down" (wind at 150° to 180° relative) gives me a choice. I can sail on just the main or just the jib as the main blankets the jib. The advantage of the main is it "snaps" less in light wind. The disadvantage is that it introduces more weather helm. Since this requires more rudder angle to counter it slows the already slow boat down. Also as the wind puffs the heading shifts to windward faster than the autopilot can react. This can result in a continuous veer that needs to be countered. Downwind on jib alone Reboot is very stable on both electronic autopilot and Monitor™ vane steering. The downside as noted above is sail snap in light wind.
4. Overcoming bad experiences is sometimes necessary. With my roller furling jib it is easy to adjust for wind speed changes. With my traditional main raising, lowering, and reefing are not only more difficult but more time consuming. I have been caught out more than once with too much main in a squall or sudden wind change. The same thing has happened using the whisker pole solo. But that does not mean that one can ignore using the correct sail configurations.
5. Everything is a sail. That includes the sail bag on the boom. Particularly with very heavy cruising sails it is pretty big. I call it my 4th reef and actually use it as part of the sail configuration.

The trip:
Left Banda motoring to get out of the channel. Raised the main and made good progress until I got tired of managing the veer. Dropped the main for the jib. Made decent progress until the wind died. Motored for a while in light wind and occasional rain. I hate motoring! Back to the jib. Falling behind as other Wonderful Sail 2 Indonesia boats catch up and pass me. Feel stupid and frustrated. Making about 2.5 knots in 9 knots relative wind from 150 relative. Say to myself: "She can go much faster in this wind. We never were this bad when we raced her." Bite the bullet. Raise the main. Start to veer but doing a little better. Start easing out the jib. At about 50% of "J" it all comes together. She stands up and takes off at 5.5 to 6 knots. Weather helm drops. Roll reduces. Wow! I wish I had remembered this configuration 24 hours ago!

P.S. Of course this means we will arrive in the middle of the night to a new harbor. And we do at 3 a.m. Fortunately with a full moon and radar. As the Aussies say: "no drama." I have of course been very sleepy so I made coffee about an hour before arriving . Drop the hook. Wired. Can't sleep. The joys of cruising.

Fair winds and following seas :)

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Battling Muezzims

In the anchorage in the Banda Islands, Indonesia we are surrounded by mosques. Each mosque performs the "azaan" (call to prayer) and I believe also recite the "salah" (the five daily prayers plus the Friday prayer.) From our somewhat central location in the water we can hear the prayers from several mosques. Since the "muezzim" (the person actually doing the call) is different for each mosque we get a variety of voices. What could easily be a cacophony blends and twists and is actually quite beautiful. It is a shame that I don't understand a word they are saying.

It is my understanding that the salah cycle is from sunrise to sunset. This morning I was sleeping in the cockpit and was awakened by the muezzim at about 4 am. Since the call resonated from every mosque I assume this was a special prayer.

Fair winds and following seas :)

Saturday, July 29, 2017

The real world

Reboot is participating in the Wonderful Sail 2 Indonesia rally. About 60 boats made it to Thursday Island. We are on our second stop in the Banda Islands. So far we have lost one boat (aground on a reef) and left behind about 5 others to sort various problems in Debut. One boat lost their rudder between TI and Debut. Showing remarkable skill they sailed her 250 nm without a rudder and made it into Debut.

But this post is about something different. If one does a back of the envelope calculation this fleet is worth at least 6 million USD. When in Debut some of us had the opportunity to visit a local school. We had a great time. Especially me. I never thought at 70 I would be playing soccer with a bunch of kids. But I did. On reflection I realized that with the exception of their uniforms these children had almost nothing. Each desk had a small empty booklet. But no pencil. One blackboard. Almost none of the things I associate with a school room. Shelves of books? No. Student projects on walls? No. What do they have? Dedicated teachers. Eye opening.

Fair winds and following seas :)

Banda Island at anchor 30 July 2017

Friday, July 28, 2017

Good days, bad days, so so days

Reboot has been underway about 25 hours on our trip to Banda Island. So far the trip has been a mixed bag. After cleaning the islands around Debut we headed almost due west. Unfortunately the wind angle was a little too much downwind. Coupled with a beam sea (which rolls the boat) it was hard to keep the course I wanted to steer. Since then the wind has been up and down and we have had some rain. (Yesterday was hot and sunny.) So the comfort level has been up and down too.

I am in company of about 5 other boats from the fleet. It is nice to know I am not alone. But it requires extra care to keep a good separation.

Fair winds and following seas :)

Underway from Debut to Banda Island, Indonesia 10:22 AM 29 July 2017.

Plan B

This morning was the appointed day for the Wonderful Sail 2 Indonesia fleet to leave Debut for Banda Island. Even though we planned separately or in small groups there was clearly a consensus path. I was about the tenth boat in line. Obviously the local fishermen didn't get the memo. When the lead boats got to the pass in the reef they discovered that the entire pass was seeded with fishing nets. Not to mention the factory boat and net handling boats. They made an abrupt turn to go to the next opening.

In the meantime Steve on Chandra decided to go in a different direction. This would normally be OK except that he had plotted the route that he and I were to take. Except he changed his mind. So I do a 180 and I am now 2 nm behind. Of course he finds a great pass and rabbits. I, on the other hand, come out just in time to be in front of almost all of the boats I was chasing in the first place. My bottom is dirty so I am about 0.1 knot slower. I persevere as everyone passes me.

Fair winds and following seas :).

Written 19:15 28 July 2017 underway from Debut to Banda Island, Indonesia.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017


There is a current problem with my email blog feed. To protect both you and me I am turning it off until resolved.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Hearing Voices

Being alone on a sailboat one does not expect to hear voices. And it is weird. There are three sources:

1. Your head. As I learned on my solo crossing of the Atlantic.

2. Other boats. Sound carries over the water much better than on land. People sitting on a boat quite a distance away can be heard clearly.

3. The radios. Most of us leave our radios on all the time as a safety measure. "Hey it looks like you're dragging anchor!" During the day there is a lot of traffic as the radio also is the telephone and the text messaging service. At night they are very quiet. When you are asleep and hear talking your (my) tired brain does not put together it is the radio. I think someone is on the boat. Funny.

Fair winds and following seas :)

Debut, Indonesia 24 July 2017

In line fuses

I have been having trouble with my cockpit multifunction display. Sometimes it works (when I don't need it.) Sometimes it doesn't (when I am coming into port.) I finally tracked the problem down to erratic supply voltage. The culprit? The in line "marine grade" fuse holder. I learned two lessons:

1. "Marine Grade" corrodes like everything else. Maybe slower.

2. Never install a fuse behind six anti-theft screws that requires a special tool stored at the bottom of everything to remove.

Fair winds and following seas :)

Debut, Indonesia 24 July 2017

Thursday, July 20, 2017


A long post...  

I arrived in Bundaberg, Australia from Fiji in November 2016. I then headed down to Brisbane and finally Sydney where I sat out the hurricane season. A good thing as Hurricane Debbie did a number on the Northeast coast. Finally I left Sydney and headed up the coast to Horn and Thursday Islands by way of Cairns, Gladstone, Airlie Beach, Lizard, Mt Adolphus, etc. I departed to Debut, Indonesia on July 18, 2017. 

The good:

1. The people are wonderful. They are outgoing and friendly.

2. I got a chance to enjoy some great culture in Brisbane and Sydney.

3. After a year in the Pacific it was nice to have great Internet, semi-decent marine stores, and good public transportation. 

4. I enjoyed a class reunion with people I had not seen in forty years. 

5. I got to join a sailboat race in Sydney Harbor. Quite the treat!

The not so good: 

1. I have been sailing for 60 years. I have been sailing around the world for eight. I have never encountered such consistency difficult conditions. Winds are strong. Waves are high. Currents are strong. In some areas thunderstorms are common. Well sheltered anchorages are rare. Anchorage areas in city areas are full of local boats making it difficult to find a spot. One earns ones stripes. And spends a lot of uncomfortable days and nights.

2. There are no cruisers' bars. By this I mean places where cruisers gather to meet each other, splice the main brace, tell sailing stories and listen to music. In bars there are no bar stools. Everyone sits at tables. Not an easy environment to meet people. Even with 40 Sail 2 Indonesia boats at Horn anchorage there was no place to go in the evening. 

3. The waters are dangerous. One of the joys of the Caribbean is the ability to fall off you boat and swim at any time. The jellyfish, crocodiles and snakes make that a bad idea in most places in Australia.

4. A personal note. Cigarette prices make NYC seem cheap. I am sure lots of kids are eating ramen or going hungry so their parents can buy smokes. (The cheapest smokes are $29 for a pack of 20.)

The special: 

Australia has very strict animal import laws. The biosecurity people were wonderful but having XO on board was limiting. Enough said. 

Fair winds and following seas :)

Torres Straight

Sailing through the Torres Straight. This is the water between New Guinea and Australia. Reboot is on a 500 nautical mile leg. It is ugly. The water is very shallow. Usually about 45 feet deep. The winds have been strong ranging from 20 to 25 knots with gusts to 35. The result is 6 - 10 foot seas. This would be less of a problem if they were coming from anywhere else. But they are dead on the beam. Reboot is rolling like the proverbialkklp washing machine.  

In addition we have all sorts of other challenges. First, the currents. When they are adverse (twice a day) they slow Reboot way down. And cause very large tide rips. Watching the vane steer I am glad I am not hand steering. Apparently another rally boat lost both its vane and electric autopilot. They are hand steering with a tiller. It is so exhausting that they heave to 12 hours a day to rest. Second we have the fishing fleets. That don't have AIS. So they don't show up on the chart plotter. At least they are brightly lit so they are easy to see from a distance at night. They are not Australian, they have a very Asian look. Finally there are a large number of buoys, both charted and uncharted. And my charts are brand new!

Fair winds and following seas :)

Written 20 July.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Fearless Bird

Late this afternoon as I was working my way through a fishing fleet a bird decided to land on my solar panels. I chased him away for two reasons: birds tend to relieve themselves making quite an unpleasant mess to clean up and my concern that XO might go overboard chasing him.  

One of the real downsides of solo sailing is trading sleep and keeping a good watch. In the open ocean encounters are rare. We saw maybe 5 boats in the 37 days it took to cross from Panama to Hiva Oa. Almost everyone has an AIS transponder. They show up on the multifunction display long before you can see them visually. Here in the Torres straight there are lots of fishing boats with no AIS and quite a large number of uncharted buoys. So about every 15 minutes (24/7) one needs to stick one's head up and look around.

On one such trip I needed to adjust to adjust the sails. After 8 years I normally do this in the dark. It keeps my night vision intact. (When the moon is up it feels like daylight once your vision has adjusted.) I started cranking on a winch and noticed a dark blob in front of me on the lifeline. Sure enough it was my friend the bird. He watched quietly with my face 1 foot from him. When I waa done I went and got a red flashlight. I beamed it on him from 6" away. He looked at it, he looked at me, Nd he put his head under his wing. I made maybe 16 more trips to the cockpit before he flew away. He was unconcerned by my presence.

Fair winds and following seas :)

Pacific Crossing Complete!

Reboot is now in the Arafura Sea. This is bordered by New Guinea, Indonesia, and Australia. I feel like my Pacific transit that started on Valentine's Day 2016 is complete. In addition to the Pacific Ocean I have been in the Coral Sea and the Tasman Sea. But they just felt like more Pacific Ocean. I am now far enough through the Torres Straight to feel like the Pacific is done. At least for a while. Yahoo!

Fair winds and following seas :)

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Adios Australia

Hello Indonesia. Underway from Horn/TI to Debut, Indonesia. ETA 7 days. The adventure continues. Fair winds and following seas:)

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Horn and Thursday Islands

We are in the anchorage at Horn Island. This anchorage is better protected from the wind so the boats don't move around quite as much. On the other side of the channel is Thursday Island. ( Its anchorage is exposed to the trade winds. With the wind peaking at over 30 knots it is not a great place to set anchor.

Daisy, Steve and I took the ferry over to TI yesterday. It is a small community. We had a great Aussie breckie and then explored the main area of town. Two major reactions: although there are many different stores the selection in each is very limited and prices are at least 25% higher for everything.

We did have a beer in the northern most bar in Australia. Which was OK. Then continued our tour. We finally stopped at Customs and Border Protection to see about checking out later in the week.

Fair winds and following seas :)

Monday, July 10, 2017

Horn Island Anchorage

This morning the Sail to Indonesia fleet at Horn Island (across from Thursday Island.) Only a couple of more days...

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Cats and Possession!

I realized this post could go several ways. But no, XO is not devil spawn. Nor to my knowledge does he have the heritage of a temple cat. But he is both a very cuddly and possessive cat. He likes to cuddle next to me when I am sleeping. He tucks himself in against my chest. What I find interesting is he always has at least one paw on top of me. It I change and put my hand on top he immediately restores his paw on top!
Fair winds and following seas :)

Years later...

I have owned Reboot for at least a decade. I raced her. I have been cruising the world for 8 years. I have always been dismayed that it is difficult to sail dead down wind. I have taken to gybing downwind. I have looked at cruising spinnakers, in particular the Parasail™ but the price has always been out of reach. In fact when solo sailing it is difficult to use the whisker pole and my light air asymmetric is beyond my ability to use alone. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that putting the main sail out made Reboot get much closer to dead down.

Allow me to explain. Reboot prefers to be pulled downwind by the jib. The Monitor™ wind steering prefers it too. And from a safety perspective it is much easier for me to reef the jib from the cockpit then go out on deck to reef the main. (Yes, a furling main would be great if I had the money.) Downwind if I put up the main it blankets the jib. So it is one sail or the other. It turns out that the 4th reef on the main (which is actually the storage pack for the sail) has enough windage to stabilize Reboot going dead down if I swing the boom out to the side. Who would have guessed?

Fair winds and following seas :)

Friday, July 7, 2017

Broken Boats

Mechanical things break. Cruising boats, being mechanical things, break. Since I am alone most of the time I quickly assume it is only me. That is not good for my attitude. Since joining the Sail 2 Indonesia rally I am not only in the company of other boats but we all talk to each other. I discovered that I am not the only one who has problems. I feel better. I am not sure if this is good or bad.

Fair winds and following seas:)

Internet Arrogance

As I write this I am anchored in Margaret Bay on the east coast of Australia about 100 miles south of the Torres Straight. This is aboriginal country. There is no technology and thus no Internet. While sailing last night I picked up a stray WiFi signal. Just enough to download an email from my bank. I needed to call them.

In an effort to further "protect" me the bank introduced "two factor authentication." When you call they want to send a text or email to you with a one time code. Of course there is no cell or Wifi coverage here or for that matter in many of the places I visit. The agent did not know how to deal with someone who did not have text messaging and instant email. So she could not help me because I could not authenticate. Great. Nor was the recording to visit their website amusing.

It may come as a great surprise to the "head sheds" in the developed world to discover that cell service and WiFi do not blanket the known universe.

BTW cost of useless satellite telephone call - $100 USD.

Fair winds and following seas :)

PS This email will queue and sometime in the future actually get transmitted.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

It's not cold anymore!

We have worked our way up to 14 1/2 degrees South it is definitely no longer cold. As I write this just after sunset its 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Quite the change from Sydney.

Fair winds and following seas :)

Monday, July 3, 2017

Wind noise - Lizard Island

It was a long and tiring trip from Cairns to Lizard Island. The wind was stronger than forecast gusting to 30 knots. But what made the trip particularly uncomfortable was the 6 to 10 foot waves on the beam. We rolled back and forth the entire way. Lizard Island is reputed to be a great anchorage. And it pretty much is. The "fetch" is short so the waves are low. But the wind has been howling non-stop through the rigging my entire stay. It is blowing 20 to 25 knots across the deck. Being outside is not comfortable. (Consider what the people launching aircraft on a carrier put up with all the time.) The strange thing is that other than its normal sailing around the anchor chain Reboot is just sitting quietly. Well, not quietly when you consider the wind noise. But stable. Very weird.

Of course the other downside is that I single hand. Motoring thru an anchorage of 25 other boats to find the perfect spot is just not prudent. So the best spots usually go to others.

Fair winds and following seas :)

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Seagulls and cats

A seagull tried to land on Reboot. XO took offense. Fair wind and following seas :)

Saturday, July 1, 2017

MOVREP 020222ZJUL2017

Arrival, Sailboat Reboot
14 39.531 S
145 26.884 E
Lizard Island, QLD, Australia

At anchor.
One POB and one cat.

Plan two day stay

Captain Roger sends


Departed Cairns 010000ZJUL2017. Heading up the Great Barrier Reef.

Friday, June 23, 2017


Question: When is an ICOM IC-M23 not an ICOM IC-M23.

Answer: Always.

And this is the story. I have two handheld radios on board Reboot. Despite changing them, installing new batteries and being very careful in their use they always die long before I am done. Since a handheld is a major safety item in the dinghy I decided I better purchase a new one before heading to Indonesia. Icom™ makes excellent radio equipment. They were my choice. I purchased the IC-M23 as I only needed a budget model. My only concern was the charger. Australia is 240V 50Hz and Reboot is wired for 110V 60Hz. Most new electronics come with "world chargers" as did the Icom. A simple plug adapter and I was good to go. Or so I thought. I was wrong. It turns out that Icom tailors their radios to "country of use." As a world cruiser my answer is of course ALL OF THEM! That is not how it works. My new radio has International and US channel sets but does not have Canadian or ATIS. Interesting. And disappointing. Another lesson learned the hard way.

Fair winds and following seas :)

Thursday, June 22, 2017

AIS and Marine Traffic

Whenever I leave Reboot at anchor I am always concerned that she will drag. In the past there was no way of knowing. Enter AIS and web based tracking systems like Marine Traffic. If the AIS pn Reboot is left on I can get detailed position information from my web browser. It is usually not. Ore than a couple of minutes old. I can look up Reboot and confirm she is still in the same place. Nice.

Fair winds and following seas :)

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Worst Solar Day

Today is the solstice. If you are "down under" as Reboot is at the moment it is the shortest day of the year. If I was "home" (home is where the IRS thinks I live) then it is the longest day of the year. So, happy solstice!

As a cruising sailor today has significant emotional connotations. Long term cruising viability depends on two things: food and power. It is unlikely that one could catch enough food to survive in the long term. So we provision. Power on the other hand represents a set of trade offs. We can use fuel to move or make water. We use it to run the navigation electronics, communications and lights. Reboot has two sources of fuel: diesel and solar. (Some boats also have wind generators.) Since like food we can only replenish diesel in port solar is a very significant source of power.

Today is the worst day for solar power generation. (Yes, rainy and cloudy days are bad but they are not cyclical.) The shortest day means least power generation, the longest night most power usage. For the past month we have been very careful in our electricity usage. We will have to continue to be for the next month but we have turned the corner. A nice feeling.

Fair winds and following seas :)

Monday, June 19, 2017

Solar woes

Having solar panels on a cruising sailboat is just about a given. People talk about how many watts of solar they have. But I was reminded that sometimes it just doesn't work out. On my trip from Gladstone to Cairns I was heading North(ish) the entire way. The sails shaded the solar panels. Even on a bright sunny day I did not get much charge. Fair winds and following seas :)

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Not great sailing

Fair winds and following seas :)

Captain Roger J Jones

MOVREP 171835ZJUN2017 Reboot

Underway to Cairns

20 15.898 S
148 43.087 E
Course 345 T
Speed 4.0 Knots
Wind SW 10
Wave Flat
Sky Clear with ground haze
Baro 1021

1 POB + 1 (wonder) cat + cat material
ETA 3 days

Captain Roger J Jones

Friday, June 16, 2017

Night Lights

I am in the anchorage area of Airlie Beach. Since I am on the edge I leave my AIS on and show an anchor light at night. There are a large number of boats on mooring balls. They don't show anchor lights. At night I feel like I am alone but when the sun comes up i have dozens of boats near me. It is a very strange feeling.

Fair winds and following seas :)


I recently had a very scarry experience. We who use Facebook all know that we are told that FB is concerned about our privacy. Maybe, but not from FB. Of course the "add friends who are not on Facebook yet" comes from uploading your contacts. Now you can turn this off but that just stops the updates. Apparently you can delete the original upload but I have been unsuccessful finding the switch.

But here is what happened that is even more concerning. It happened in "people you might know." One suggestion linked to a beautiful young girl. I had no idea who she was or why she was suggested . After a couple of hours of subconscious though it dawned on me that 20 years ago I knew a man near my age with the same last name. He had a beautiful wife and at least one very young daughter. We have not spoken nor emailed each other in 20 years. My current Facebook email address did not exist 20 years ago. You have guessed the punchline. This beautiful young woman was his grown up daughter. Somehow Facebook had figured out a connection. I ask, how is this protecting my (or her, or his) privacy?

Fair winds and following seas :)

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

SITREP 150316ZJUN2017

At anchor, Airlie Beach

20 15.309 S
148 43.701 E

Interesting transit. Mostly moderate winds and seas. Wind would die at sunset and come back several hours later. Until I got within 25 nm of Airlie Beach. Then 6' waves and 25 knot winds. Made for a long final approach. Now at anchor. Will relax and make sure the anchor has a good set. Into town tomorrow. Fair winds and following seas :)

MOVREP 142100ZJUN2017 (Reboot)

20 37.766 S
149 00.436 E
Course 338 T
Speed 7.0 knots
Wind S 23 G 27
Wave S 4 - 6 feet
Sky 40% Cumulus
Barometer 1024

38.6 NM to Airlie Beach

All OK

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

MOVREP 091800ZJUN2917

21 55.799 S
150 25.149 E
Course 308 True
Speed 4.5 knots
Wind SSE 18 knots
Wave SW 3-5 feet
Sky 10%
Barometer 1025

142 nm to go

All OK. Near Townshend Island. Pretty night. Almost full moon. XO has been very needy. Wants to cuddle for warmth. He had a pukie moment but managed to not throw up. I think he is dealing with a hairball and I will see it soon.

Doing some detailed planning for Indonesia. Apparently very few services until we get to Bali. That means being provisioned for the transit and another six weeks. After Airlie Beach I stop in Cairns for mail and on to the rally fleet rendezvous at Thursday Island. It looks to me like the best place to load up will be Arlie. So provisioning like an ocean transit. My wallet will take a hit!

One of the hardest things to find when I was island hopping in the Pacific was pet supplies. I will have to bulk up on litter and food. Should be fun to find a place to store everything. Fortunately I took advantage of my Pacific crossing experience and have added spares for Reboot: filters, fluids, fuses, etc. The sails, standing rigging and ground tackle are pretty new so I hope not to have issues with them. We will see how it goes. My crewmember running over a wreck and causing $3,500 damage wasn't planned either. Nor was his well it's your boat so eat the cost attitude.

Fair winds and following seas :)

Apparent Wind

The wind is so light that even though it is coming almost from the stern the boat motion has shifted it so I am close hauled. No, I am not going anywhere fast. Fair winds and following seas :)

Monday, June 12, 2017

MOVREP (Reboot)

All OK


22 39.928 S
150 55.961 E
Course 336 T
Speed 4.5 kt

Wind S 12.3 (True wind)
Wave WSW 3 feet
Baro 1022 - 2
Sky Clear

211 nm to go

Fair winds and following seas :)

Peaked Island

OK! I am alone out here except for the cat! Fair winds and following seas :)

North to Airlie Beach

Lots of islands to miss north of Gladstone. Fair winds and following seas :)

Underway Again

After several hours at anchor waiting for the wind shift it finally came. Weird to anchor 3 miles offshore but did not want to drop by mistake on the Great Barrier Reef. Plus, the further one goes in, the further one must sail out. Fair winds and following seas :)


Underway to Airlie Beach. The forecast is for winds from the South. I am heading Northeast. Of course the winds are from the Northeast. Quality. Fair winds and following seas :)

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Its Finest Hour

Is over. Can not complain too much. It lasted 22 years. That is not completely true. This was the GPS readout. The sensor lost its mind in 2007. The readout was still valuable as it got data off the bus. Fa winds and following seas :)

Indonesian Coast Guard

Just got back from a visit to an Indonesian Coast Guard patrol boat. Very beautiful. Immaculate. Great fun with lots of selfies with crew. B...